Illawarra Mountain Biking Strategy opens for public consultation

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward MP has today announced that the Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Biking Strategy is now open for public consultation.

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area-Mount Keira

Mr Ward urged people to have their say on the strategy, which has been released following extensive consultation with indigenous, community and business groups since August.

"So many people have tried to deliver this document – but I was determined to ensure this challenge didn't evade me as it has so many others. I know how passionate people are about promoting mounting biking not only as a sport but as a key economic and tourism driver which fits beautifully with our natural environment," he said.

"We shouldn't sell this short – today's announcement is huge news for our region. It's not only a sensible step but it's a major turning point in what will be a fantastic opportunity.

"The strategy is being developed to provide approved trails for recreational, employment and tourism opportunities, while protecting the environment and the escarpment's rich cultural heritage from illegal use and ad-hoc trail development. This strategy makes out trails safer and gets the balance right.

"The Illawarra Escarpment has very high cultural significance for the traditional owners, so consultation with the Aboriginal community is key to delivering this strategy.

"I have been working closely with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Wollongong City Council to investigate the opportunities to create approved and managed mountain bike trails on the Illawarra Escarpment.

"The strategy will guide appropriate trail development across land managed by the NPWS and the Council and also consider access to land under private ownership."

"The project is being managed by the NPWS funded with $50,000 from a Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) grant.

Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Draft Strategy

"The consultation period closes on Sunday 10 December, so public comments can be considered and potentially incorporated in into the final Plan of Management.

"Anyone may provide a submission on this draft strategy. Submissions should be in writing and be as detailed and specific as possible, however, any comments are welcome," Mr Ward said.

Comments should be forwarded to:

The Manager
National Parks and Wildlife Service Highlands-Illawarra Area
PO Box 5436
Wollongong NSW 2520

or npws.illawarrahighlands@environment.nsw.gov.au